American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine 2017 11 10() doi 10.1164/rccm.201704-0704OC
Recent evidence suggests that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may be a risk factor for developing Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. However, how sleep apnea affects longitudinal risk for Alzheimer’s disease is less well understood.
To test the hypothesis that there is an association between severity of OSA and longitudinal increase in amyloid burden in cognitively normal elderly.
Data was derived from a 2-year prospective longitudinal study that sampled community-dwelling healthy cognitively normal elderly. Subjects were healthy volunteers between the ages of 55 to 90, were non-depressed and had a consensus clinical diagnosis of cognitively normal. CSF Amyloid beta was measured using ELISA. Subjects received Pittsburgh compound B Positron Emission Tomography scans following standardized procedures. Monitoring of OSA was completed using a home sleep recording device.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
We found that severity of OSA indices (lnAHIall [F1,88=4.26, p<.05] and lnAHI4% [F1,87=4.36, p<.05]) were associated with annual rate of change of CSF Aβ42 using linear regression after adjusting for age, sex, BMI and ApoE4 status. LnAHIall and lnAHI4 were not associated with increases in ADPiB-mask most likely due to the small sample size although there was a trend for lnAHIall (F1,28=2.96, p=.09 and F1,28=2.32, n.s. respectively). CONCLUSION
In a sample of cognitively normal elderly, OSA was associated with markers of increased amyloid burden over the 2 year follow-up. Sleep fragmentation and/or intermittent hypoxia from OSA are likely candidate mechanisms. If confirmed, clinical interventions for OSA may be useful in preventing amyloid build-up in cognitively normal elderly.